Finding Legal Help
You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help.
Como encontrar ayuda legal
Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.
Resources to Help Guardians and Conservators
- Publications and websites
- Office of Public Guardian
- Aging & Disability Resource Connection (ADRC)
- The aging network
- The disability network
- The behavioral health network
- Residential services
- Social Security Administration (SSA)
- Veterans benefits
- Legal resources
Dialing 2-1-1 will connect callers to health, human, and community services statewide. 2-1-1 provides free information and referral on topics such as emergency food pantries, rental assistance, public health clinics, child care resources, support groups, legal aid, volunteer opportunities, and a variety of other non-profit and governmental agencies. For more information, see the 211 website.
Publications and websites
- Benefits Checkup Answer questions to find benefit programs that can help you pay for medications, health care, food, utilities and more.
- Caregiver Support Program published by Division of Aging and Adult Services.
- Caregiving Resource Center published by AARP.
- Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide published by AARP.
- Dictionary of Legal and Medical Terms published by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
- Directory of Services published by Division of Services for People with Disabilities.
- Eldercare Locator published by the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Financial Steps for Caregivers published by Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement.
- Help for Families When Loved Ones Have Substance Abuse Problems - published by Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.
- Legal Guide for Americans Over 50 published by the American Bar Association.
- Legal Guide for the Seriously Ill published by the American Bar Association.
- Managing Someone Else's Money guides
- Guide for agents under powers of attorney
- Guide for court-appointed guardians
- Guide for government fiduciaries (Social Security representative payees and VA fiduciaries)
- Guide for trustees
- My Health Care Wishes App A smartphone app created by the American Bar Association gives individuals the ability to store and share important health care wishes.
- Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families published by AARP.
- Salt Lake County Senior Centers published by Salt Lake County Aging Services
- Senior Centers published by Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services.
- Senior Resource Directory published by Salt Lake County Aging Services.
Aging & Disability Resource Connection (ADRC)
Aging & Disability Resource Connection
The ADRC provides "one-stop shop" centers in local communities that help older adults and individuals with disabilities make informed decisions about their service and support options and serve as the single point of entry to the long-term care system. ADRC programs provide information and assistance to individuals needing either public or private resources, professionals seeking assistance on behalf of their clients, and individuals planning for their future long-term care needs.
Office of Public Guardian
Office of Public Guardian
The Office of Public Guardian provides guardianship and conservatorship services to protected persons who have no other appropriate guardian. The Office provides general information and referral on community resources available to family guardians.
The aging network
Area Agencies on Aging
Local Area Agencies on Aging provide a comprehensive variety of services to, and advocate for, the needs of persons 60 and older and caregivers in their areas. Area Agencies on Aging provide information and assistance and contract with a range of services providers — for example, in-home care, legal services, congregate and home-delivered meals, and transportation. There is no financial eligibility requirement for these services.
Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services
The disability network
Disability Law Center
205 N 400 W
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
The Disability Law Center is a private, non-profit organization serving as Utah's protection and advocacy agency. The Center provides information and referral to services for persons with disabilities statewide. The DLC does not represent individuals in guardianship cases.
The Center's other mission is to enforce and strengthen laws that protect the opportunities, choices and rights of people with disabilities, in areas such as:
- abuse and neglect in long term care facilities
- clients and applicants of vocational rehabilitation
- education issues
- housing discrimination
- Medicaid or insurance denial of assistive technology
- voting access
Centers for Independent Living
A center for independent living is a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, non-residential private nonprofit agency that provides a variety of independent living services.
- Information and referral
- Independent living skills training
- Individual and systems advocacy
- Peer counseling
Division of Services for People with Disabilities
195 N 1950 W
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116
The behavioral health network
Search for a local mental health facilities by zip code
Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health
One of the most difficult tasks for a guardian may be finding the right living arrangements for the individual. Factors will include cost, Medicaid or insurance coverage, VA benefits, time factors, including hospital discharge, proximity to friends and relatives, services and amenities offered, and quality of care. If you encounter problems with the long-term care of a protected person, the following resources may be helpful. Be sure to contact the program coordinator before making a complaint or initiating any action.
Search for living arrangements
The Utah Department of Health, Health Facility Licensing, Certification and Resident Assessment lists particular residential facilities with location and contact information
- Assisted Living Type I (Assists with one or two Activities of Daily Living — ADLs)
- Assisted Living Type II (Assists with any number of ADLs)
These commercial websites also help find living arrangements:
Medicare and Medicaid facility comparisons
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides detailed information about the performance of the following Medicare and Medicaid certified facility types:
- Nursing homes
- Home health agency
- End stage renal dialysis
To compare facilities, click here.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Protected persons retain important rights even when they reside in a long term care facility. The long-term care ombudsman will advocate for residents 60 and older of nursing homes, assisted living, and other adult care facilities. They work to resolve problems of individual residents.
You may give the contact information for the Utah Long-term Care Ombudsman to the guardian who has encountered problems with long-term care facilities. If the guardian is not taking action concerning poor quality of care, your report to the court might suggest contacting the ombudsman program.
Medicaid is a state-run program that provides healthcare payment for individuals and families with low income. It is the largest source of funding for medical services for people with limited incomes in the nation. Medicaid is also the largest payer for long-term care. Medicaid covers nursing home care for individuals who are eligible financially and who also meet the state's level of care requirements. In Utah, Medicaid also helps to support assisted living care in limited circumstances. The Utah Medicaid agency is:
288 N 1460 W
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116
Social Security Administration (SSA)
The Social Security Administration field offices are SSA's primary point for face-to-face contact with the public. Field offices provide information, make determinations about eligibility, issue Social Security numbers and cards, take applications and determine eligibility for Medicare, and much more.
Utah Social Security Office
175 E 400 S, Suite 500
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides a wide range of benefits, including disability, education and training, vocational rehabilitation and employment, home loan guaranty, dependant and survivor benefits, medical treatment, prescription drugs, aid and attendance, life insurance, and burial benefits.
- Summary of VA benefits
- Veterans Health Administration in Utah
- Veterans Benefits Administration in Utah
- Vet Centers in Utah
- Utah Department of Veterans Affairs: 801-326-2372, 800-894-9497
- American Legion: 801-326-2380
- Disabled American Veterans: 801-326-2375
- Veterans of Foreign Wars: 801-326-2386
A guardian may need a lawyer to provide legal advice or to advocate on behalf of the protected person. Individuals who are financially eligible can receive legal services through legal aid or legal services programs. In addition, under the Older Americans Act, there are special programs of legal assistance for older people who are "in the greatest social and economic need." For those not eligible for such legal programs, there are many private lawyers who focus on assisting elders or individuals with disabilities.
- Disability Law Center
- Utah Legal Services
- 801-328-8891 in Salt Lake County
- 800-662-4245 in all other counties
- Representation limited to domestic violence protective orders, regardless of income, and divorce, custody, grandparent visitation and guardianships, for financially eligible clients
- Free legal services to people over 60 by appointment at Salt Lake County senior centers.
The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.